March 19, 2012 Improvement in Car Sales Could Mean Increasing Revenue for Many Cities
New car and truck sales rose almost 16% in February 2012 compared to the same month a year ago.[i] Auto sales were up almost 24% as consumers snapped up fuel-efficient models due to higher gasoline prices. Truck sales, up nearly 8%, were pulled up by Ford’s F-series trucks, which shot up 26%. Ford F-series were also the most popular make by volume, selling 47,273. Next highest were Toyota’s Camry, which sold 34,542. Other most popular makes with high growth rates in February were:
1) Ford Focus, up 115%,
2) Nissan Altima, up 58%,
3) Toyota Prius, up 52%,
4) Honda Civic, up 42%,
5) Toyota Camry, up 27%.
Among automakers, Chrysler sold 40% more autos in February 2012 than in 2011 at 133,521. The largest seller, General Motors, sold 209,306 autos, but up only 1% from last year. Foreign makes like Kia, Volkswagen and BMW registered more than 30% gains.
Analysts were generally optimistic about 2012’s continued strong auto sales. “We don’t see any major risks to industry sales going below 14 million this year (up 12%),” said Jesse Toprak from TrueCar.com, which tracks sales and pricing.[ii] U.S. car and truck sales troughed at 10.4 million sales in 2009 and then rose to 12.5 million sales by last year.[iii] Automakers are also happy to get higher profits by giving away fewer incentives and all this despite higher gasoline prices.
[i] “Auto Sales Pick Up Pace Despite Gas Prices”, Nick Bunkley, New York Times, March 2, 2012.